Half a billion in EU aid to Africa

The European Union adopts new programmes and projects worth a total of €467 million under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The EU continues to deliver on its commitments to assist vulnerable migrants and refugees and address root causes of irregular migration. The new support measures in the Sahel/ Lake Chad region and the Horn of Africa will foster stability, jobs and growth, especially for young people and vulnerable groups.

They complement ongoing bilateral and multilateral efforts, such as through the Joint African Union – European Union – United Nations Task Force. Today’s additional funds will allow for live-saving assistance to be taken forward, including accelerating resettlements of refugees from Niger as a priority.

“We continue working to save lives, provide safe and dignified returns and legal avenues, and tackle the root causes of migration, by creating jobs and growth. With the UNHCR, we have evacuated 1,287 refugees from Libya to Niger, who need to be resettled swiftly now. With the IOM, we helped 22,000 people to return home and provide reintegration assistance. Today’s additional commitments will further consolidate our work towards managing human mobility – in a humane, secure and dignified way together with our partners” – Federica Mogherini, EU top diplomat said.

“The majority of today’s €467 million assistance package will be dedicated towards improving employment opportunities, especially for young people. But challenges remain, and the Trust Fund’s resources are running out. If we want to continue our live-saving assistance, additional contributions by EU member states’ and other donors will be crucial”-  Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development explained.

Increasing stability and supporting the resilience of local populations is one of the pillars of the EU’s integrated approach. In central Mali, activities worth €10 million will address the rapidly degrading security situation, to increase trust between Malian security forces and local populations. Further new activities will promote conflict prevention, foster food security in South Sudan or improve knowledge on malnutrition in Sudan. In Sudan, support will also enable humanitarian and development actors to access hard-to-reach areas. In Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau new measures will help to set up a reliable civil identification registration and document issuance system, to allow the population to benefit from enhanced mobility, document security and better access to rights.

The European Union’s work with the UNHCR has so far allowed for 1,287 refugees to be evacuated from Libya to Niger through the Emergency Transit Mechanism, with 108 people having been further resettled to Europe. In parallel, together with the International Organisation for Migration, 22,000 migrants stranded along the routes have been assisted to voluntarily return home, where they receive reintegration support.

Today, the EU mobilises an additional €70 million, of which €10 million will support accelerating resettlements under the UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism and €60 million ensure that voluntary return and reintegration assistance can be continuously provided by the IOM. In Kenya, an innovative approach to piloting private sector development will promote better economic integration of refugees and supports the implementation of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework. Additional €20 million in regional support will help countries in the Horn of Africa, in developing and implementing sustainable and rights-based return and reintegration policies.

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